The Gospels Direct Our Focus on Jesus Christ, the Messiah
On our tour of the Bible, we come to The Gospels. I was asked to read the entire Bible in ten weeks and I just did! This is part of that interesting and fascinating series.
The Gospel – which means ‘The Good News’ (‘Euangelion’ from which we get the word evangelist or evangelical) – and God gives us four pictures of the life of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Savior and Lord.
These four books center on Jesus, they focus our thinking, our mind, our attention, on Jesus Christ.
This is a record of the life and ministry and teaching and death and resurrection of Jesus.
We are told everything we need to know about Jesus, particularly his birth, how it happened, how it was planned, how John the Baptist, his cousin, was sent into the world six months before Jesus to prepare the way.
There were TWO special babies that were born at that time.
We read from the beginning of the role that the angels played – to Zechariah – to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds – and we learn that the enemy who tried to eradicate God’s people in Egypt when Moses was resurrected tried to annihilate the life of Jesus Christ and annihilate him when he was very young. Mary and Joseph had to take him to Egypt-for his safety and protection-but also to fulfill the words of the prophets. Matthew 2 and Hosea 11.
We read of an incident in His early life when Jesus was 12 years old and was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem: it is quite remarkable that His earthly parents lost Him! But his father never lost him.
Luke Chapter 3 – The Word of God came to John – John preached and baptized. Jesus came from Nazareth to be baptized by John – to fulfill all justice – and Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, by God the Father.
Then he is tempted. After the blessing, He is tested, tested, tempted. A desert experience is almost essential in the life of the man of God.
JESUS wins – triumphs – and returns to Nazareth – and even reading the lesson in the synagogue and making the briefest of comments, everything seems very different.
Jesus Christ calls the disciples. Now this is what God had always been doing: calling men: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. Jesus begins by calling Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew, and a few others.
There is nothing radically new in God’s method. He uses men – people. God is deeply interested in people, in having fellowship with people, in saving people from their sins, that is why Jesus came!
“You will call Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.”
Jesus Christ began to preach and teach, and heal the sick, and feed the hungry, training these disciples for what was to come. They were with Jesus for about three years, learning, watching, listening, asking questions, receiving whatever they could receive at that particular time in their lives.
They asked about prayer – how to pray – teach us to pray. Luke Chapter 11 They had said prayers, but when they heard Jesus pray, they noticed something different.
There is a big difference between ‘saying prayers’ and praying.
That day came when Jesus asked – Who do men say I am? God the Father had revealed to Peter who Jesus really was: the Christ, the Messiah. Luke 9 verse 18 – and in Matthew 16 verse 13 we are given a slightly fuller version.)
In Luke chapter 9, we read of the coming storm: dark clouds of fierce and violent opposition are on the horizon. Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem and do what God the Father sent him to do in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus speaks loud and clear about the cost of being a disciple.
There is more teaching – we have many of the parables.
Chapter 13 teaches us what to say in these days of disaster.
Verse 34 shows us Jesus’ concern for Jerusalem and for the people.
Chapters 18 and 19 – on his way to Jerusalem – Bartimaeus regains his sight and that swindler Zacchaeus receives salvation. Jesus would never be in Jericho again.
We never know when our last Sunday will be, or the last chance, make sure you have resolved with Almighty God and those around us, those issues and problems that require attention.
We read of Jesus last week, packed with teaching, as opposition grows.
Then we come to Jesus’ final day on earth – the Passover Supper – the prayer in the garden – the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus Christ – with dear Peter denying him three times.
La Cruz, we have some details, but nothing scary.
This was the last time that Jesus Christ appeared before the public; after that, he went alone to his disciples.
Then we come to the Resurrection – and His meeting with the women – with Peter – with two on the Road to Emmaus – then with those gathered in the Upper Room.
For about 40 days, Jesus meets with his chosen men, gives them Bible studies, prepares breakfast for them by the lakeside, and finally blesses them.
God is always wanting to hurt people.
“Oh, strengthen me that while I stand firm on the rock and strong in You,
I can extend a loving hand – to the fighters with the rough sea.”
“Loving and gracious God – we give thanks for the Gospels – we give thanks for every part of the Scriptures. Help us to read and study Your Holy Word – nourish us as we take time each day to read a portion of the Bible. Strengthen our faith to that we may help others who may be struggling in this sin-ridden world – we pray in Jesus’ Name, amen.”